View from the Porch, by Paul Willcott

Coping with fear in the time of Trump

Reportedly, some Americans are not concerned about President Trump’s firing of F.B.I. Director Comey. Hard-core Trump supporters even applaud the move. Not me. It scares me. Makes me fear what could come next. One widely believed speculation about Trump’s motivation is that Comey was ...

Making college tuition free is not a problem

The problem is getting agreement that tuition-free education is worth paying the additional taxes required. I think it is. There are numerous models of tuition-free education, all of which work with varying degrees of success. An obvious example of tuition-free education is the public ...

White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon speaks at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland.
(Photo provided — Gage Skidmore via Creative Commons)

Lewis Carroll haunts the White House

I’ve been looking all afternoon for the meaning of “de-operationalize.” According to Steve Bannon, that was his mission when he was named to the National Security Council. Beyond a few suggestions, I haven’t gotten very far with my research. An anonymous source said, “Steve has ...

My experience being sick in foreign countries

In the current conversation about health care in America, I find myself thinking of what I experienced being sick in England, France and Switzerland. I don’t have a detailed understanding of the health care system in any of those countries, but all of them were more or less the “socialized ...

Snow day

A snow day brings changes in ordinary routines. Some are welcome; just ask a kid who hadn’t quite finished his homework. Some not so much; ask the kid’s mother. (It’s sometimes overlooked that schools have a duty to provide child care.) Here’s a snow-day change that I liked a lot: I ...

Road trip

I’ve just made one of my periodic drives to Texas, where I grew up. There is much to recommend such a trip. It’s always a deep, mysterious pleasure to go back where you came from and recalibrate memories and judgments. The solitary road trip offers the almost religious experience of ...

A word for our time

Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch drew attention for saying that the Groper’s criticism of the federal courts was “disheartening” and “discouraging.” His crazed outburst was applauded by Democrats because he’s a Republican, and members of that party generally respond to the ...

The groper and the gipper

The Groper is doing just what he promised to do during the campaign. He’s being quick about it, too. He told us he knew more than the generals, and right off, he booted the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff from the inner circle of the National Security Council and appointed Bad Boy ...

Progressives need a single galvanizing issue

Progressives’ protests against all things Trump — his sexism, crudeness, lack of impulse control, bigotry, fondness for Putin, conflicts of interest, lying, ties to Wall Street and more — offer encouragement to the protestors but do too little to convert a critical mass of voters to ...

The only way I can think of to make the country less divided

It’s hard work. It requires determination. It cannot wait until both parties decide to try it. I refer to making an effort to have civil conversation with people who voted the other way. Since the election, I’ve expressed political opinions here and online at www.geezerblockhead.com. ...

Please Tweet at me, Mr. Trump

Occasionally I suffer from low self-esteem. Donald Trump’s prominence has aggravated this condition. The man Tweets like mad. He takes it as his high calling to — among other purposes — destroy people by means of insulting 140-character messages. And yet even though I’ve done my ...

My America is not the one they want back

One Presidential candidate believed that multiculturalism and women’s equality are unqualified blessings and that government should promote them. She won the election by something over 2.5 million votes. That’s probably why hate groups and hate crimes and ordinary incivility are ...

Thank you, Mr. Trump

Initially, the result of the election scared me. A lot. I was shaken to my core by the possibility that Trump’s racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic statements and actions during the campaign might actually find their way into the laws and regulations of this good country. But ...

Election reflections

America has flaws, but it’s far more worthy of respect than Donald Trump would have us believe. We do too little to preserve the planet from overheating. Too many people are poor. Education needs to be improved. The tax code is unnecessarily complicated and favors the rich. Medical care ...